Personal branding has quickly become a key component of the job search and of career management. Over the next several blogs, we’ll dig into specific ways you can start to hone your brand to set yourself up for career success. But first, let’s review a few basic concepts and recurring themes so you’ll have a strong foundation before we get started.
What is personal branding?
I don’t want to assume that everyone knows what this means. Maybe you’re familiar with the idea of corporate branding. If so, it’s really the same thing but directed more at the personal level.
It’s a strategic marketing plan you use to establish who you are as a professional. Once you’ve established that, the real work begins! From there, you’ll be constantly maintaining your brand, and you’ll also notice that it evolves and shifts over the course of time. The same is very much true for corporate branding.
With the progression of time, you’ll find that your brand helps you to build your reputation. As reputation builds, you start to align yourself with other like-minded professionals. This network you create will be something that serves you for your entire career. And it all came about thanks to your personal branding!
How do we get started?
In essence, you’re really going to start by re-training your brain a bit. You’ll need a slight shift that helps you look at all your messaging. As you reflect, you’ll ask yourself the question “what message does this send about my brand?” If it’s in alignment, great! If not, then it’s time to tweak accordingly.
What counts as messaging?
A large array of things will fall under the category of messaging: social media profiles/posts, resumes, what you say in interviews, how you carry yourself while networking, your level of integrity, work ethic. The list is nearly limitless, and the goal here is to get every part of your messaging in alignment.
Aside from that question on messaging, you’ll notice another theme: creating win-win situations. I think by now, we all agree that win-win situations are great. However, having that at the forefront of the mind in key moments takes a little getting used to.
Tied into the win-win concept is an analogy a colleague and I often use, and I’ll refer back to it several times. Think of all these relationships as a bank account. When you have an account, you really can’t take withdrawals from it until you’ve made some deposits. During the process of trying to re-train our thinking habits, I find this analogy to be very useful.
Written by Adam Lafield, Recruiter & Marketing Specialist